1. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
    With White Women
    Joined
    31 Jul '01
    Moves
    91452
    29 Mar '08 20:11
    Opinion: On homosexuality,
    can we at least talk about it?

    By David Gushee


    (ABP) -- I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally.

    Because I hold a tenured professorship in Christian ethics at Mercer University, I am one of those rare souls who can talk candidly about this hot-button issue. And these days I’m finding it hard to avoid the nagging and unsought conviction that this freedom now demands responsible exercise.

    Methodology is everything. Starting points are everything. Glen Stassen and I wrote a widely read book in which we argued that truly Christian ethics focuses relentlessly on Jesus Christ. It starts there, it dwells there, it ends there. All statements about Christian morality -- all statements about anything -- must fit with the Jesus we meet in the Gospels. Jesus is where God meets the world, and thus where any who bear his name must meet the world as well.

    Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. He defined neighbors to include everyone. Absolutely everyone. He sharpened that definition by calling us to attend to those regarded as the last, the least and the lost. The most rejected, the most hated, the most abandoned, the most feared, the most loathed, the most despised, the most mocked -- these are the people to whom Jesus most directs us to offer our love.

    I go to press conferences sometimes and talk about what Christians ought to stand for in society. Two times in recent months I have finished one of these press conferences and been approached quietly afterwards. Both times a young man has handed me a business card and gently said something like this to me: “Please do not forget about me and people like me.” They were homosexuals. They were seeking Christian love. They were asking for some help.

    In my doctoral dissertation I studied Christians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. I discovered that in that horrible drama there were essentially four categories of behavior: victim, perpetrator, rescuer and bystander. Most instances of mass evil involve a small number of direct perpetrators killing a large number of hated victims in the presence of a much larger group of acquiescent bystanders, and resisted by a tiny number of rescuers. Scalded by that research, I have vowed with God’s help to be a rescuer kind of Christian.

    In light of the hatred, mockery, loathing, fear and rejection directed at homosexuals in our society -- and in our churches -- I hope to God that I am not and never have been a perpetrator. But I fear I have indeed been a bystander. I am trying to figure out what it might mean to be a rescuer.

    There are always very, very compelling reasons to be a bystander. Mainly these revolve around self-interest. You live longer when you are a bystander. People like you more. And even if you entertain nagging questions of conscience about your inaction, in the end it is easier to stay out of it. And so the hated group keeps getting thrown under the bus.

    There are dozens of such particular flashpoints related to the issue of homosexuality. Christians, their churches, their denominations and their institutions are arguing about everything from homosexuality’s causes to whether active gays can be church members or leaders to even whether gay couples can appear alongside other families in church pictorial directories.

    I want to begin a dialogue in this column by simply calling for the rudiments of Christian love of neighbor to extend to the homosexual. And the place to begin is in the church -- that community of faith in which we have (reportedly) affirmed that Jesus Christ is Lord. I call for the following Christian commitments:

    -- The complete rejection of still-common forms of speech in which anti-homosexual slurs (“queer,” “fag&rdquo😉 are employed either in jest or in all seriousness

    -- The complete rejection of a heart attitude of hatred, loathing, and fear toward homosexuals

    -- The complete rejection of any form of bullying directed against homosexuals or those thought to be homosexuals

    -- The complete rejection of political demagoguery in which homosexuals are scapegoated for our nation’s social ills and used as tools for partisan politics

    -- The complete rejection of casual, imprecise and erroneous factual claims about homosexuality in preaching, teaching or private speech, such as, “All homosexuals choose to be that way.”

    -- The complete recognition of the full dignity and humanity of the homosexual as a person made in God’s image and sacred in God’s sight

    -- The complete recognition that in any faith community of any size one will find persons wrestling with homosexuality, either in their own lives or the lives of people that they love

    -- The complete recognition that when Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, that includes especially our homosexual neighbors, because the more a group is hated, the more they need Christ’s love through us

    There is more to be said. But this is at least a place to start.

    -30-

    -- David Gushee is distinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. www.davidpgushee.com
  2. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    29 Mar '08 23:32
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Opinion: On homosexuality,
    can we at least talk about it?

    By David Gushee


    (ABP) -- I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally.

    Because I hold a tenured professors ...[text shortened]... istinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. www.davidpgushee.com
    "I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally."

    Could it be because he doesn't ever say publicly that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin?

    But never mind that!

    I find nothing wrong with this mans reasoning. And I agree with what he says. But the homosexual community is only a fraction of all the people that need the love of Christ.

    "The most rejected, the most hated, the most abandoned, the most feared, the most loathed, the most despised, the most mocked,.."

    He could have been referring to Christians in this statement the way things are going in the world today.
  3. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    30 Mar '08 00:342 edits
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Opinion: On homosexuality,
    can we at least talk about it?

    By David Gushee


    (ABP) -- I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally.

    Because I hold a tenured prof ...[text shortened]... istinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. www.davidpgushee.com
    Bravo.

    The hatred and bigotry exhibited by "Christians" toward homosexuality "because it's a sin" is alarming. Yet these same individuals, when questioned, will almost invariably admit that they have yet to overcome sin themselves and that they readily accept others that have yet to do so. The hypocrisy is clear.

    On top of that I have to say that I'm not convinced that committed homosexual relationships are even addressed in the Bible, no less deemed a "sin".
  4. tinyurl.com/ywohm
    Joined
    01 May '07
    Moves
    27860
    30 Mar '08 01:23
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Bravo.

    The hatred and bigotry exhibited by "Christians" toward homosexuality "because it's a sin" is alarming. Yet these same individuals, when questioned, will almost invariably admit that they have yet to overcome sin themselves and that they readily accept others that have yet to do so. The hypocrisy is clear.

    On top of that I have to say that ...[text shortened]... mitted homosexual relationships are even addressed in the Bible, no less deemed a "sin".
    Amen
  5. Joined
    31 Dec '07
    Moves
    6400
    30 Mar '08 03:56
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Opinion: On homosexuality,
    can we at least talk about it?

    By David Gushee


    (ABP) -- I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally.

    Because I hold a tenured professors ...[text shortened]... istinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. www.davidpgushee.com
    I applaud your open-mindedness and courage in calling for no less than eight complete turnarounds of attitude from christians. If you get to see even one of your ideas accepted I will be astonished, but I wish you good fortune.
  6. tinyurl.com/ywohm
    Joined
    01 May '07
    Moves
    27860
    30 Mar '08 04:03
    Originally posted by muppyman
    I applaud your open-mindedness and courage in calling for no less than eight complete turnarounds of attitude from christians. If you get to see even one of your ideas accepted I will be astonished, but I wish you good fortune.
    Which Christians? Any in particular? Because these were rules I taught and enforced in my Catholic classrooms over the years ...
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    Just another day
    tinyurl.com/y8wgt7a5
    Joined
    23 Aug '04
    Moves
    24791
    30 Mar '08 04:39
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally."

    Could it be because he doesn't ever say publicly that the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin?

    But never mind that! ...[text shortened]... been referring to Christians in this statement the way things are going in the world today.[/b]
    Oh get serious. Christians are not particularly desposed or abandoned. They nearly control the world.
  8. tinyurl.com/ywohm
    Joined
    01 May '07
    Moves
    27860
    30 Mar '08 05:40
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Opinion: On homosexuality,
    can we at least talk about it?

    By David Gushee


    (ABP) -- I’m one of the few leaders in Baptist life with the freedom to talk openly and honestly about the complex theological, moral, pastoral, and public policy issues raised by homosexuality without destroying myself professionally.

    Because I hold a tenured professors ...[text shortened]... istinguished university professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University. www.davidpgushee.com
    Are you sharing as well?
  9. Joined
    11 Nov '05
    Moves
    43938
    30 Mar '08 07:23
    But when the bible says that homosexual men (nothing is said about the homosexual women) deserve to die, does that mean that (1) the bible is not true, or (2) christians now are turning away from the word of god, or (3) god has changed his mind about homosexuals?

    Homosexual people, even homosexual women, has ben harassed by christians during, how many thousands of years?, and now, all of a sudden, some (only some) christians decide that homosexuals also deserves the love of god.

    Has the time come to elect a homosexual pope?
  10. Joined
    31 Dec '07
    Moves
    6400
    30 Mar '08 08:33
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    Which Christians? Any in particular? Because these were rules I taught and enforced in my Catholic classrooms over the years ...
    You would have to ask the original poster which christians, since he is the one calling them to join the commitments.
  11. Joined
    27 Sep '06
    Moves
    9651
    30 Mar '08 11:20
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    Oh get serious. Christians are not particularly desposed or abandoned. They nearly control the world.
    Don't be so obtuse. Kirk started a very good thread with a statement by a man describing how Christians should endeavor to show the love of Christ to the homosexual. I replied to a couple of statements with a valid criticism, but I also affirmed the intent of the author.

    Why don't you try to address the topic instead of making inane comments which you cannot support.

    The point I tried to make in my reply to the professors statements is, that while it is true that some Christians should examine their own lives, and not deal harshly with those who need the love of Christ, it is not just the homosexual that needs to know the love of Christ, but everyone.

    There are far more people in this world that need Christ than just homosexuals. What makes the homosexual more deserving, than the multiple millions of children who have far less resources and privilege, and live in squalor, of the love of Christ?

    While it is true that the homosexuals have endured hatred and bigotry, they have been far less the recipients of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice than most other people. And that's a fact!
  12. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
    With White Women
    Joined
    31 Jul '01
    Moves
    91452
    30 Mar '08 13:23
    Originally posted by josephw
    Don't be so obtuse. Kirk started a very good thread with a statement by a man describing how Christians should endeavor to show the love of Christ to the homosexual. I replied to a couple of statements with a valid criticism, but I also affirmed the intent of the author.

    Why don't you try to address the topic instead of making inane comments which you can ...[text shortened]... s the recipients of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice than most other people. And that's a fact!
    A couple of things of interest in the article. First he admits that being tenured gives him the luxury to state his beliefs without employment reprisal. Every Baptist pastor I know lives with that insecurity. Yet, I also know some who say "Good, fire me if you want. I will be in integrity with my beliefs." The other thing I found of interest is that he focuses on the teachings of Christ as the pinnacle of truth. So we have no teachings or admonitions from Jesus on homosexuality and that gives him permission to address the problem.
  13. England
    Joined
    15 Nov '03
    Moves
    33497
    30 Mar '08 14:34
    its is the same as adultery, its a sin that is what the message is about your sexual preference. so unless god forgives then satan greets
  14. Joined
    15 Oct '06
    Moves
    10115
    30 Mar '08 16:33
    Originally posted by josephw
    While it is true that the homosexuals have endured hatred and bigotry, they have been far less the recipients of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice than most other people. And that's a fact!
    I don't think that you can support this statement.

    It's been my experience that homosexuals have been and continue to be a group that is as subject to hatred and bigotry by "Christians" as any other if not more. The fact that so many do so so openly make it all the more egregious.
  15. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    Just another day
    tinyurl.com/y8wgt7a5
    Joined
    23 Aug '04
    Moves
    24791
    30 Mar '08 16:39
    Originally posted by josephw
    Don't be so obtuse. Kirk started a very good thread with a statement by a man describing how Christians should endeavor to show the love of Christ to the homosexual. I replied to a couple of statements with a valid criticism, but I also affirmed the intent of the author.

    Why don't you try to address the topic instead of making inane comments which you can ...[text shortened]... s the recipients of hatred, bigotry, and prejudice than most other people. And that's a fact!
    And what does this have to do with the topic?

    "The most rejected, the most hated, the most abandoned, the most feared, the most loathed, the most despised, the most mocked,.."

    He could have been referring to Christians in this statement the way things are going in the world today.
Back to Top